Paul Rivers

Finding new markets and solutions for new and existing technology

At heart I am a technologist with a PhD in Laser Ablation from University of Southampton.  Recognized as an international authority in the field of navigating and control of autonomous vehicles and robotic applications with 20 years of sales and operational experience. This includes acquisitions and mergers both in the UK and the US. An inquisitive solution finder with an extensive technical experience portfolio, complimented by an entrepreneurial flair for generating new product ideas.  A combination of international sales management, market diversification and proven skills in project management.  As a professionally qualified executive director an approach of open communication and positivity has been vital in creating and delivering innovative strategies. These attributes underpin a track record of successes across a diverse range of businesses and market sectors for setting up and leading high performing teams.
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Robotics / Navigation & Control Solutions Negotiation / Communication Data Analysis / Research & Development Stakeholder Relationship Management Technology Integration Software Applications

Business Development

Strategy Formulation / Business Planning Market Expansion & Diversification Sales Contracts / Tendering International B2B / B2C Sales Account Management Distribution / Logistics

Team Leadership

Project Management Divestment / Mergers & Acquisitions Process Re-engineering / Automation Employee Development / Leadership Stakeholder Relationship Management Operational Management

Dual Laser Moisture Measurement For Surveyor

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Intelligent Laser Trigger for Surveillance

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Multi-scan Laser For Outdoor Area Safety

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Fibre optic switch for Time of Flight Rangefinder Calibration

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Miniature Camera Rangefinder For 3D Image Scaling and GPS Offsetting

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Miniature Laser 3D Scanner For Rapid Stockpile Volume Calculation

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Vaporline, Easy & Flexible Way to Upgrade Line Follower For Natural Feature Navigation. Patent GB1904550.9

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Dual laser scanner for optimum autonomous vehicle navigation. Patent Pending

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Automating Risk Management to Improve Employee Safety in Warehouses


Automating warehouse facilities has many recognised operational benefits – from increasing efficiency, improving productivity and becoming less reliant on the manual workforce. Yet, a common misconception of automation is that it can negatively impact employees' safety. Indeed, in Guidance Automation’s 2022 research, 64% of respondents said that safety concerns around physical accidents caused by automated systems were preventing them from implementing warehouse or manufacturing plant automation. Such findings demonstrate a lack of education around automation – as rather than being a barrier to deployment, businesses should consider automation’s capability to minimise health and safety risks a positive.

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Annual Automation Report Reveals Industry cites Intralogistics Automation As ‘Critical’ For Success and Growth


The report looks to understand the 2022 market for Autonomous Mobile Robot technologies (AMRs) amongst companies that have a warehouse, fulfilment, production, or distribution operation – and how it has changed from the same research conducted in 2021. The research was conducted with the UK’s leading intralogistics technology decision makers and looked at the year-on-year differences, which included the industry’s change in time and expectations of implementing AMRs; the drivers and perceived barriers to implementing AMRs; and what businesses look for in an intralogistics automation vendor.

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No Business is Too Small for Automation


There remain many misconceptions around implementing automation. Guidance Automation’s recent research identified the greatest perceived barriers to be the costs involved / budget constraints (76%), the need to up-skill staff (74%), and the belief that warehouse processes are too changeable (63%). But a further widespread myth is that a business may be ‘too small’ for automation. This is emphatically not the case.

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Automation for All


Lights-out Ocado warehouses staffed by robots may appear a world away from the 20 person manufacturing company or family-run logistics operation, but that is no longer the case. Automation – including the use of autonomous mobile robots (AMR) – can play an important role in businesses of any size and it doesn’t have to come with a ridiculous price tag or disruption. Adding just one or two robots to the business can reduce the amount of time operatives spend walking around the warehouse, or allow individuals to concentrate on added value activities such as quality checking. It can add contingency, helping a business manage the current staffing shortfalls. Plus with the ability to rent robots – including by the hour – companies have access to an affordable resource on demand.

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2022 – The Year of Automation


Everyone is fed up of hearing about the pandemic and the catastrophic impact it has had on the world. But the fact is, although statistics confirm Covid-19 is waning, the rise of new variants including Omicron means the virus is still very much present and working its way through the population, continuing to leave its destruction behind it. This, combined with the effects of Brexit, have dragged UK businesses into unknown territory in a ‘sink or swim’ style scenario. Many businesses have folded, thousands of jobs have been lost, but there is an upside to this – many have managed to ride the wave and come out the other side with a stronger, more resilient business model that will drive them forward despite uncertain times.

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Future Proofing Following COVID-19: The Key is Embracing Automation


Most businesses suffered, some businesses failed, but for those who survived the ravages of the pandemic, what lessons have been learned and, perhaps more importantly, what plans are now in place to make businesses more resilient moving forward? History is littered with pandemics; following bird flu & swine flu, and COVID-19 has arguably been the worst since the Spanish flu. But what next? Another pandemic is inevitable at some point in the future. And on top of that, there is seasonal flu - absent last year, but could be making a strong comeback this year - preying on those of us who have been socially distanced and now less prepared to fight off illness.

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Survive and Thrive During Peak Retail with Automation


The retail industry has had a rollercoaster of a year, from the high street being closed for months on end, to e-commerce operators managing the acceleration of demand during lockdown. Now open and back in business, both online and offline retailers are feeling the pressures ahead of the busy shopping seasons, with Black Friday and Christmas just around the corner.

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A new era of accelerated Intralogistics Automation


The unfortunate mix of Brexit and Covid-19 has had a tremendous impact on businesses around the world forcing them to re-evaluate how they operate in uncharted territory. This disruption has presented many challenges over the past 18 months but fortunately, many opportunities, with unprecedented e-commerce growth during Lockdown providing new customers and unexpected revenue. Manufacturing and logistics businesses in particular have entered a new era where intralogistics automation and Autonomous Mobile Robot Technologies (AMRs) are becoming commonplace but is this our future or are we placing ourselves at risk by putting too much trust in technology too soon?

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Digitally Transforming Businesses with Robotic Process Automation


Businesses across all industries around the world have had to reconsider their infrastructure, processes and workforces as a result of the pandemic. With additional pressures to meet increased customer demand while restricted by Covid-induced social distancing measures, organisations have had to adapt in order to survive, with many turning to technology to do this. According to recent research, almost half of existing jobs could be automated within the next generation due to technology integration and the acceleration of automation. Here I highlight how Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an area of technology that will continue to drive business transformation, but only if implemented correctly.

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Investing in the Future: Grow Your Own Robot


Automation can be seen as a complex area, and it is yet to reach its full potential – the challenge remains for robots to accurately and efficiently ‘pick’ items – but this shouldn’t steer organisations away from making that initial investment. Instead, by incrementally deploying new technologies and starting to innovate your processes, that can be scaled as times goes on, businesses can future-proof their investment and continue to reap the benefits from innovation time and time again.

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The future of bespoke automation


Automation is clearly a key component of the future, it already makes up a significant part of supply chains and factories today; from robotic X-ray machines in hospitals to pallet trucks, parking lots, baggage handling and even stage scenery automation within theatres. There is a rapid expansion happening in the automation industry, especially as bespoke vehicles can be created for businesses to leverage specific and measurable benefits through qualified consultation that doesn’t break the bank. Paul Rivers, Managing Director at Guidance Automation discusses what the future holds for automation, and how for businesses to gain the most benefit from these technologies, they must look to deploy a bespoke solution that aligns precisely with their processes, goals and workforce in order to fully reap the benefits.

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A Tearoom for robots


Robotics is being used in a variety of industries and applications, with new use cases being defined almost daily. For example, the rapid growth of ecommerce over the years is showing no signs of slowing, with online sales due to account for over 50% of retail sales over the next decade. Within the UK, online spend is predicted to increase 29.6% by 2024, with more than 50% of UK consumers now choosing to shop online over the high street. As ecommerce continues to expand, the demand for warehouse workers is growing at a rapid rate, creating an even greater need for automation.

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Process, People, Technology


There has been much written about the benefits that automation can unlock for businesses, but too often businesses think they need to jump in at the deep end and deploy automation technology straight away, hoping it will solve the problems they are experiencing. But how will a process optimised for a manual workforce perform with automation – such as an Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV)? How will people respond when their day to day roles change? If the aim is to improve efficiency and productivity, technology is just one part of the overall solution.

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Automation - No need to rip and replace


The concept of full automation could be daunting, especially considering the cost, time and disruption that go into building a brand new factory or warehouse – this just isn’t a viable option for a large proportion of businesses. But full automation isn’t necessarily an appropriate strategy; there is no need to revolutionise the entire facility to achieve significant productivity and efficiency improvements. As Dr Paul Rivers, CEO, Guidance Automation explains, tactical automation can be strategic.

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Automation as a complement, not a replacement of the human workforce


Smart automation has the potential to deliver great economic benefits, but there remain many concerns that the use of AI and robotics could displace many existing jobs. With the desire for automation increasing and more sectors looking to deploy the technology, particularly within manufacturing, logistics and distribution, it’s important to understand how automation can augment the workforce, rather than replacing it.

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Acceleration of the Automation Evolution


As with most sectors, as soon as the pandemic first hit, organisations went into shock. With lockdown measures in place, how could they keep up business continuity? How could they strategise effectively with so much uncertainty? How would global disruptions affect supply chains? Businesses had to rapidly adapt and deploy numerous damage control measures. In several industries, however, it was clear that automation of particular functions could pave the way for an accelerated return to as close to normalcy as possible. Manufacturing, for example, has the potential to involve multiple automated roles, providing a solution to the social distancing challenge, as well as underpinning flexibility for labour needs.

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Embracing automation and robots in industry


The future lies in the innovation of industry; efficiency and automation are the key buzzwords of 2020 as Covid-19 pressure drives businesses to seek new and unique ways to achieve more with less, and counter those slimming margins. Within warehousing, logistics and picking and packing for e-commerce for example, there’s been a rapid uptake over recent times of automated processes and the added support of robotics. Autonomous vehicles and effective autonomous transport solutions for instance can contribute a significant improvement in throughput efficiency and error reduction for e-fulfilment applications. However the UK has been historically slow with adoption as it faces reservations.

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Routes to Professional Success in Automation


The jobs of tomorrow require skilled and digitally-enabled employees, as they are the key to business success and international economic development. However, the latest IRF report on World Robotics highlighted how far behind the UK is in terms of automation compared to its international rivals, which is compounded by a skills shortage in the qualifications needed to drive automation. Why does this gap exist and what is the need for further collaboration between government and higher education establishments to offer appropriate courses and resources for students – and in turn, businesses – to prepare for the future automated world.

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Rivers are easiest to cross at their source

The raging waters of bad habits, ill discipline, chaos and dysfunction- somewhere they begin as no more than just a slight trickle.  Somewhere they are a placid lake or pond, even a bubbling underground spring.

Don't drown in a dangerous crossing in the near future, cross now whilst it is relatively easy to succeed.

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man


Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day

A. A. Milne

There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they're falling in

Desmond Tutu

You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it

Paulo Coelho

Ideas, like large rivers, never have just one source

Willy Ley
I commissioned Louis Parsons to produce me a Soalscape which was unique to me, but reflected my drivers in life.  Different people will see and interpret the image differently and I hope that you do.  The outline of the brief was that the human figure in the centre is looking to the future, the light in the distance has 3 planets of different colours and size.  Each is very different and are three choices in my future.  The small planet represents starting my own business, the larger planet represents me joining a large organisation and the middle planet is me staying where I am and developing my education and experience.  It also represents my feeling that there is always a big picture view to be considered.

Set all of this in the context of my surname and hence the water theme. The riding through a wave represents the challenges of life and heading along the waterway (path) to these planets. There is chance of rough times if the wave crashes. The water in the centre is calm and there are many calm ripples. These are good memories of life so far which will gently remind me of the past and how I have got here.

Whichever planet I chose, there will always be three more planets to venture towards in the future. We should all be aspiring to move forward and keep the experiences flowing.